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Comics Picks For 05.02.2014

On account of traveling to and from India this past week, my comics reading took a back-seat, as did my novel reading incidentally. Very few comics read, but most of them were good at least, a saving grace.

Anyway, here’s another edition of this new feature. Full reading list, as always, is available here and all my comics reviews are available here.

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Ms. Marvel #1 (Comics Review)

First new comics day of a new month, and since this is February 5th, 2014 that means that today is the day that sees the launch of Ms. Marvel #1. Long the identity of Carol Danvers after she got some powers from the first Captain Marvel aka Captain Mar-Vell (sp?), it was discontinued in the launch of Marvel Now since Carol was asked by Captain America to take up the mantle of the fallen Mar-Vell. Under Kelly Sue DeConnick and a rotating team of artists, Carol Danvers became the new Captain Marvel and went on for some great things. But now, with the launch of All-New Marvel NOW! and the upcoming Inhumans crossover, we have a new Ms. Marvel. And she is as different from the original as you could get.

Kamala Khan, daughter of Pakistani immigrants to the US, has been picked out by the Terrigen Mists to become a new superhero, a descendant of the offshoot of the Inhumans tribe that left their people thousands of years in Earth’s past. With the recent events of Infinity and the crash of Attilan, the city of the Inhumans, big changes are on the horizon and Kamala is at the center of them all. She is now the heir to a legacy that she has wished all her life, and under writer G. Willow Wilson and artist Adrian Alphona, it looks like its going to be one hell of a ride.

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Captain America: The First Avenger

Part of Marvel’s phase 1 timeline for its movies, Captain America: The First Avenger had a lot riding on it. It was the rebirth of Marvel’s greatest superhero and one of its core characters, unlike Iron Man or Thor who, while important, weren’t quite so high-profile, especially not before getting their own movies. The movie wasn’t quite the success commercially that it was expected to be, but it set the stage for the eventual The Avengers and it cemented Chris Evans as Steve Rogers, having previously played Johnny Storm in Fox’s Fantastic Four duology. I wasn’t all that big a fan of the movie, it felt too cliched, but it was decent fun.

With Captain America: The Winter Soldier due in just two months, anticipation is riding high, and I believe that this time the First Avenger will be a huge success on all levels. The trailers have certainly been quite awesome, and I suppose that’s the best that can be asked for right now.

Either way, here’s a review of the first movie.

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Comics Picks of The Week 29.01.2014

Not as busy a week as the last but fairly busy nonetheless. The new creative teams on various ongoing titles continue to go strong, particularly Justice League Dark and Witchblade while some of the newer titles like Black Science continue to be exception, so that’s one thing that I really liked about this past week. January in particular has been a really excellent month of comics what with Marvel’s full-on All-New Marvel NOW! launch and some really good issues for DC’s Forever Evil event.

Just one graphic novel again this week, the Lee/Buscema magnificence that is Silver Surfer: Judgement. I was meaning to read at least one more, but time wasn’t on my side and I missed out. Hopefully the new month gets off to a good start.

Anyway, here’s another edition of this new feature. Full reading list, as always, is available here and all my comics reviews are available here.

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Inhumanity #2 (Comics Review)

Spinning out of the recent Infinity crossover event is Inhumans, which was originally supposed to be written by Matt Fraction but will now be written by Charles Soule. Consequently there has been a delay in the series being released, and in the wake of that there has been some rejuggling of issues. Most notably this past week’s Inhumanity #2 which was originally solicited as Inhumanity: Medusa #1, a one-shot. I liked Fraction and Coipel’s Inhumanity #1 well enough. It was a really interesting story, the art was good, and I had fun. I’d wondered if there’d be a follow-up, and now it is here.

Knowing next to nothing about the Inhumans, aside from what I read in Infinity and Inhumanity #1, I felt distinctly lost in several places here because there are callbacks to characters I have no knowledge of, and this issue pretty much gets into things from the get go. It also doesn’t help that there are two pencillers on this issue with no less than four inkers in all and two colourists as well. So the issue is a hotchpotch in terms of the art. I liked the story, but it was also disappointing at the same time.

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Comics Picks of The Week 22.01.2014

So this past week proved to be a rather busy week. Lots of comics came out and I think there were something like 30 titles I was interested in, not to mention my huge backlog which stretches quite a bit too. Still, I read quite a few, and I’m mostly happy with them. Interestingly enough I read almost twice as many Marvel titles as I did DC, which was a surprise considering that I enjoy DC far more and find it to be a much easier universe to get into. But, I suppose its the whole All-New Marvel NOW! relaunch at work since three of the titles I read were part of this.

My Superior Spider-Man read-through continued as well with Volume 2, which I really, really enjoyed, and will have a review going up soon for the first two volumes. I couldn’t really be bothered when the title launched last year but now that I’ve gotten a taste of it, I want more. Doc Ock as Spider-Man is really interesting and really good.

Anyway, here’s another edition of this new feature. Full reading list, as always, is available here and all my comics reviews are available here.

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Best of 2013 Part 2b: Graphic Novels

A few days ago I did my best of 2013 list for the books I had read in the second half of the year. In a departure from previous such lists I divided the books and the comics into separate posts so that I didn’t have one massive post up. Massive posts are a bit tough to handle, especially when you are promoting them on social media. And with the split posts, the directions are different and there’s no unnecessary crossover.

So, with the books already having been covered, I now delve into my favourite graphic novels of the year. A post with the best single issues will follow on later.

You can check out my top-of-the-month lists on my Reading Awards page and this list is both an extension, and a continuation of what goes on there.

Let’s see what makes the cut and which comes close then!

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Comics Picks of The Week 04.12.2013

Just like the week prior, this past week was really busy as well. I read two graphic novels again, Superman: The Man of Steel Volume 1 and Marvel’s Infinity, and both of them proved to be quite excellent and met my expectations quite nicely. However, it wasn’t all as good as I would have preferred since there were too many comics that came out last week which I didn’t get to read. Which is weird, considering that this is essentially a 5-week month and the books should be spread out over that much time, what with the extra week thrown in.

Still, I’m in a pretty good place I think, more so since with my Advent Calendar, I’m motivated to read more graphic novels and review more comics in general. Which is always a plus. And today is another new comics day, with all that entails, so this new week is looking very promising right now.

In the meantime, here’s another edition of this new feature. Full reading list, as always, is available here and all my comics reviews are available here.

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Advent Review #9: Infinity by Jonathan Hickman (Graphic Novel Review)

This year has certainly been the year of mega-crossovers and events. Barely does one stop when the next one begins. With Marvel, it was, first, their Marvel NOW! relaunch last fall, which was quickly followed by the universe-wide Age of Ultron, and then immediately after that we delved into TWO crossover events. The first of these was Avengers and New Avengers scribe Jonathan Hickman’s grand space opera Infinity and the other was Battle of the Atom (Part 1, Part 2) for the primary X-Men team books and was penned by multiple writers. And barely has either event finished that we are moving on to the next event: Inhumanity, which has already begun in bits and pieces but won’t kick into overdrive until next year. And not to forget, Marvel’s Ultimate universe is also undergoing its own event right now, Cataclysm which just might see the destruction of that setting.

So indeed, there’s been a lot going on at Marvel next year, including their All-New Marvel NOW! relaunch of certain titles from the current range and which will see some new books debuting as well. Through all of it, I’ve stuck with only two events: Battle of the Atom and Infinity. The former event had a really good start in its first month but fizzled out completely in the second. The latter, which I just read back-to-back (just the core event issues), has been a much better read, primarily because of its incredible scope which covers a lot of different characters and teams and organisations within the Marvel-616 universe and thus giving the reader a good taste for all of it.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Ep 6 (TV Show Review)

There’s a lot that has been happening in Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD since its launch six weeks ago. Some promising characters have come and gone, leaving me disappointed with the direction that the show has been going in. Some of the characterisation for the main cast has always been a major issue, as has been the lack of a clear meta-story. All the same, the show has offered some interesting things to keep viewer, such as myself, hooked.

While some of the flaws of the previous episodes have carried on through this week’s episode, the show also went in a clearly different direction than I expected from watching the first few minutes. For the first time, the show really surprised me, and that has weight for me since it makes clear that the show isn’t afraid to take some challenges with viewer expectations. Although I wish that they went more full-out with a devil-may-care attitude. That would certainly help.

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Comics Picks of The Week 02.10.2013

This week was filled with reading a lot more than just the regular DC books. I read a fair amount of Marvel stuff this time, and also other titles from other publishers, particularly Vertigo, which is a DC imprint. A lot of these comics were really good, some not so much, and that’s pretty much normal really. Never a full week of solid comics. An impossibility I think.

I wasn’t able to get around to reading any graphic novels this time around, sadly, mostly because I was caught up reading a really big fat military space opera novel. It was written by a favourite author so that helped get over that a little bit but the book still took too much time. Not to mention that I was generally short on time so had to make do with reading single issues.

Perhaps this week I can get a couple graphic novels down!

In the meantime, here’s another edition of this new feature. Full reading list, as always, is available here and all my comics reviews are available here.

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Best of 2013 Part 1

I did two “Best of the…” lists last year, one for the half-year from January to June, and the other for the half-year from July to December. The lists proved to be quite popular, and I was recently asked if I was going to be doing any more. To which I said yes. I like putting together lists like this. It gives me a chance to reflect a bit on all the good stuff I’ve been reading in novels and comics, or listening to in terms of audiobooks, audio dramas and so on.

You can check out my top-of-the-month lists on my Reading Awards page and this list is both an extension, and a continuation of what goes on there.

Let’s see what makes the cut and which comes close then!

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